Salvation Army says need greater than ever in Lexington for holidays

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Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 3:53 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Thanksgiving is a day when people gather with family, friends and loved ones.

In Lexington, hundreds gathered Thursday afternoon at the Salvation Army. Leaders say the need was greater than ever this year.

Carolyn Sue Givens has been feeding people in the community for over 20 years now. Those walking through the Salvation Army’s doors now call her ‘mamma.’

“They know me from being out in the community serving,” Givens said. “So, a lot of them know me like that, and they’re just like family to me.”

Hundreds of Givens’ “family” members gathered for the meal Thursday. More than the area coordinator, Major Andy Miller, has seen in a long time.

“Inflation hasn’t been helping. We’ve had a few people already say to me, ‘I’ve always been a giver. But I may have to take this year.’ And that’s hard for people to come to,” Miller said.

Maj. Miller says they delivered more than 300 meals to those who couldn’t come in person and expect to serve hundreds more for the first sit-down meal since the pandemic.

This year, they’re joined by some special guests.

“The UK Tennis and Basketball teams. I want you to know, I thought I was a fairly tall person, until I stood next to Oscar Tshiebwe,” Miller said. “I feel a little smaller, but we both feel that mission of the Army.”

A mission to serve and meet others’ needs, free from any judgment.

Maj. Miller says they’ve already had 1,600 families request help this upcoming Christmas and 4,000 children sign up for the Angel Trees.